Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I need your love the most when I least deserve it

We start again by going line by line through the third set of mentions I found, this one from KDVS Freeform Radio.

The Dandelion Junk Queens say of themselves this: "Dandelion Junk Queens is not a Jug Band, nor are we Pirates, nor Gypsies/Roma. Dandelion Junk Queens is a Junk Band. Sometimes Dandelion Junk Queens are from Bellingham, WA, and sometimes the road is our home. Dandelion Junk Queens would probably like to play in your basement, and would even more likely like to drink and dance with you."

You can hear some of what they do here, or on the MySpace link mentioned above.

The Hail Seizures are also mentioned. Apparently the Taxplayers have played with them more than a little, and admire them deeply.

You can hear what they do here or here, or go hang out on their page.

Reverend Glasseye sounds like more of the American roots revival, and they get even more intriguing descriptions from official press sources.

You can hear them here or here or on their MySpace page.

The Dust Collectors might have been mentioned in part one or part two of this, I can't recall currently--but they're back due to the mention on KDVS. They also have a MySpace page.

Helena Espvall sounds very, very, very odd. Did I mention the very odd? It sounds to me like someone gave Diamanda Galas a cello, and told her to play what she felt. It's not pleasant.

She has a MySpace page, and she's apparently part of the "folk-psych" (folk-psych?? Bwuh??) band, the Espers (who have their own MySpace page) and can be heard playing Riding on Youtube.

Serendipity Musik has a MySpace page, and that is all I'm able to discover about them. Anyone else know more?

The Neotericz seem all about the arcade music, but what precisely makes them steampunk? To me they seem nearly defiantly plugged in. You can check out their micro site, if you want.

Random as a band name turns up nada, absolutely nothing of use. In fact, looking up by song titles does nothing either. There likely is some mention of them when accessing the later pages in the Google search, but I sheerly don't have the patience to pore through 45,200,000 entries.

Wingzar gets interesting, though--no YouTube or MySpace presence I can find, but no less a presence than Warren Ellis has a separate link (though on the same site) for them, and a mention of the sound of their music: "The strangeass Balearic Electroclash of Wingzar! was sent via its human representative Margaret Killjoy, who says: 'Wingzar, who sings with the help of voice-synthesis, is on a crusade to eradicate humanity for the sake of robots and nature. The attached song is titled Robot Army and is the lead track of its CC-licensed EP What We Lack In Subtlety We Compensate For In Number Crunching."

Venom8888's only mention is right there; let alone Jokr8888's only mention being as a nested side note. Who are these people? What do they sound like? Why does KDVS consider them steampunk? Got me.

Matt Bleak is a noisecore artist from Australia, apparently. I abhor noisecore, I will admit, I've never found a single likable thing about it--and I think it has less than no connection to steampunk. Still, it was on the list. And according to whomever set the archive.org page up, Matt Bleak is "Something different from the usual speed/noise core". We'll see.

And an initial search for Little Mack produced another page on archive.org, and little else.

In Scary Stereo has a discography; and that seems to be it.

Nearly the same thing with Click Click Boom--the first cursory search lists the Saliva song, and nothing else. Same for the Colonists.

Naked on the Vague is in a slightly better position to be heard. In fact, Dualplover.com has this to say on the band:
Naked On The Vague, fell into existence with a found organ, broken bass guitar, borrowed drum and some old doom poetry. Lucy Cliché executes distorted keyboard melodies, while Matthew P Hopkins plays psyched out bass guitar. Diving deep into a world of apocalyptic pop and psychedelic weirdness... their disparate vocals grip onto stabbing keys and menacing hook-laden basslines, pushed on by an unrelentling drum machine far past the end of its warranty period.

You can find them on MySpace and Last.fm.

The Ministry & Co-Conspirators mention seems to refer to their cover album, Cover Up; the song in question is their cover with Megaforce of Bang a Gong.

Sulaco, from the initial mention on Braingell.com I found, is another heavy noise band; Modern Creatures from the YouTube link I found, is yet more noisecore; the Blank Its seem a tad more melodic, but also overdriven on guitars; and Nice Smile becomes the most approachable of the lot only by virtue of being punk.

All right, let me go out on my own little limb here and state something, after this bit of research. Ready? Vintage is not steampunk. If that didn't get through, let me make it plainer: electronics aren't steampunk. Overamped guitar, banging on the Casio, using stripped-down synth to create sound--none of this is steampunk.

I agree with the accessibility concept, and I'm not saying automatically, no electronic music need apply. But it needs to meet that criteria; it can't sound like arcade sounds, like existing punk or grunge or ska, like acid house or dance techno. It can't just be noise; most importantly, it can't be noise that makes us remember Space Invaders and PacMan.

We still may be no closer to defining what steampunk music is, but I'm damned sure a varied collection of punk and noisecore bands is not it.

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